Have no fear. It’s. Only. Magic!
Here’s the facts-of-the-matter. You can’t write too much about Asi Wind’s Inner Circle (presented by David Blaine; Gym at Judson, performing until Dec. 31) because there will be spoiler alerts, and a “magician” can not reveal too much.
“Asi Wind’s Inner Circle” is an intimate show with an audience of just under 100 people, which was specially designed by Adam Blumenthal within a much larger theater. Wind positions himself at the center of a circular table with audience members sitting in the other chairs. The rest of the audience sits on tier seating and faces him, looking down from above. The evening starts with the audience asking to place their names and initials on playing cards (blank on one side), and that’s where I will leave it because from there, Wind astonishes the most amazing tricks.
It’s important to know this. You are part of the show when you step into the theatre space, so relax and roll with it. As mentioned earlier, the seating intensifies the performance, resulting in a logic-defying experience that has you repeating, in your head, that this is “magic,” or is it beyond “magic”? Imagine becoming part of the magic itself. That makes the experience so mysterious, exhilarating, and often downright hilarious.
The Wind has a kind face. He can maneuver the audience with his mischievous and humorous charm — he’s direct but never cruel. A tremendous storyteller, he keeps the evening moving to learn how he travels from Israel to live in New York, earning money performing his magic in Washington Square Park. He also talks about his magical heroes, including Chan Canasta, Tamariz, and the great Harry Houdini, whom he credits for teaching him how to create drama. Producer David Blaine calls Wind his “favorite magician,” the highest praise. And in case you’ve been under a series of big rocks, you know what? Blaine is an illusionist, endurance artist, and extreme performer and has set and smashed several world records.
Fortunately, I was asked to be a part of a magic trick on stage, and I was left (to this day) scratching my head, unable to understand how he did what he did. Wind makes you feel like an essential part of his purpose, rather than just coming along for the ride. The last trick is the most challenging and impressive of the show but again — I can’t share the magic.